miss_s_b: (Mood: Facepalm)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Airy Fairy LD assertion: London is easiest for meetings! Everyone can get there, and if you're poor you can always claim expenses!

Reality: In order to claim expenses, you have to:

1, have enough money to be able to pay out in the first place in the hopes that you'll get your money back at some unspecified date;
2, have enough money that the risk of your claim being rejected is bearable;
3, get receipts for everything. Getting receipts for Oyster Travel is FUN! Especially if you only use Oyster a couple of times a year and are crap at remembering log in details.
4, if you're far enough away that you can't do the travel and get to the meeting same day*, find a place to stay that falls below the nightly allowance cap**;
5, find the cheapest tickets for your travel; in central London, this necessitates using Oyster (see point 3) because Oyster is by far the cheapest way to travel.

Now, I don't know, maybe I'm being picky here, and maybe that's because of my various brain weasels (travel anxiety being high up on that list) and, yes, those ARE hurdles I CAN get over, but it's not the MOST accessible a meeting could be...

Anyway, meeting is on both Saturday AND Sunday, so I shall report back after.

*that's on occasions when the meeting doesn't run over 2 days anyway, OfC
**good luck doing this if you don't know anyone in London with a spare room or sofa, and eternal gratitude to the person letting me have their spare room this time - the only places I found that fell below the cap were 12 bed dormitories

Date: Tuesday, January 24th, 2017 03:41 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] theandrewhickey
It's not just you. London is in one corner of Great Britain, so while it has good transport links, it *can't* be equally accessible to everyone. The centre of Great Britain is in the Ribble Valley, so the logical thing to do would be to have the meetings be in the nearest large city to that -- Manchester or Bradford, or maybe at a push Leeds or Liverpool -- so that on average people from every area would have the same distance to travel and the same (lower) travel and accommodation costs.
There should also be an *automatic* payment of expenses up to a reasonable fixed amount, without need for receipts, payable in advance of travel.

Date: Tuesday, January 24th, 2017 06:55 pm (UTC)
nickbarlow: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nickbarlow
Though the central point geographically and the point most easily accessible by all aren't necessarily the same thing, surely? Though this could be just my Midlands heritage coming through, I think Birmingham is more accessible in terms of time taken to get there because it's where much of the road and rail networks intersect.

(Brought to you by remembering that people worked out Shrewsbury is actually the best place for people from all over Wales to meet)

IMO, all the federal committees should meet in a variety of locations, and use that as an opportunity to actually meet people in local parties outside the M25, but I'm in the East so everywhere takes ages to get to.

Date: Tuesday, January 24th, 2017 07:34 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] theandrewhickey
Could well be that Birmingham's better -- it'd certainly be better for *England*, but I don't know that it would be if Scotland's included. I'd just like to see that there had been some real thought put into it other than "everyone's in London, obviously". I definitely think Manchester or Leeds (probably not Bradford, to be fair) are well enough served by rail and motorways, even if not as well as Birmingham, but I'd be more than happy if after careful consideration Birmingham turned out to be better.

I *think* I agree about the federal committees meeting in a variety of places, but I can see a counterargument about it being more extra faff than it's worth to get to a new, unfamiliar place (and thus make new travel arrangements) every time.

Date: Wednesday, January 25th, 2017 10:39 pm (UTC)
po8crg: A cartoon of me, wearing a panama hat (Default)
From: [personal profile] po8crg
Birmingham is a pain from Yorkshire and from the North-East, both road and rail links are pretty poor for a major city route like Leeds-Birmingham or Sheffield-Birmingham (and travelling from Newcastle, you go through Yorkshire).

It's much better from Wales or the South-West than Leeds - because travelling to Leeds from Wales or SW England is the reverse of the journey from Yorkshire to Birmingham.

Manchester's weakness is the East - much easier to get from Norwich or Cambridge to either Birmingham or Leeds.

Of course, all three are pretty poor from Kent, Surrey, Sussex or Essex - because you have to go through London from those four counties to get to anywhere north or west of it.

All four cities (ie including London) are much better for some people than others, and a better compromise might be rotating amongst the four.

Date: Tuesday, January 24th, 2017 05:00 pm (UTC)
nadriel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nadriel
I take it you're unlikely to be free at any point that weekend for a catch up?

Date: Tuesday, January 24th, 2017 09:53 pm (UTC)
nadriel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nadriel
Well, since I'm no longer tied to school holidays, I'm sure holiday can be arranged :-)

Date: Wednesday, January 25th, 2017 12:35 am (UTC)
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)
From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
My professional organisation is the same - they only occasionally remember that Australia has more than two cities, let alone rural people. The travel claim wouldn't even pay for petrol.

Date: Wednesday, January 25th, 2017 12:42 am (UTC)
sir_guinglain: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sir_guinglain
Reminds me of those who said I should go to academic conferences and write off expenses against tax, when in fact I didn't earn enough to pay tax, at the time, in the first place...

Date: Wednesday, January 25th, 2017 06:44 pm (UTC)
andrewducker: (Default)
From: [personal profile] andrewducker
So, which committee deals with the FCC, its location, and its expenses?

Date: Wednesday, January 25th, 2017 09:49 pm (UTC)
andrewducker: (Default)
From: [personal profile] andrewducker
Fantastic! Time to vote yourself cake and circuses!

Date: Wednesday, January 25th, 2017 10:42 pm (UTC)
po8crg: A cartoon of me, wearing a panama hat (Default)
From: [personal profile] po8crg
FFAC will have to approve the budget. But if you can save money, then do it.

The argument for the Board and the policy committee to have meetings in Parliament on a weekday evening (ie we need MPs and Lords to turn up) is not applicable to FCC, so why not have a weekend in Manchester or Leeds or Birmingham or even Edinburgh.

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